Survivorship Walk

Survivorship Spotlight Series 2023—Join us as we kick off our first annual Survivorship Walk

Survivorship Spotlight: Meet Reona Berry


Reona Berry
Reona Berry
Two time breast cancer survivor and founding member, President and CEO of the African American Breast Cancer Alliance, Inc.

Happy Juneteenth! As a part of our first annual Cancer Survivorship Walk, we are highlighting a notable figure in Survivorship every week until the conclusion of our walk! Want to participate in the walk? Register here!

Reona Berry is a two time breast cancer survivor and a founding member, President and CEO of the African American Breast Cancer Alliance, Inc. (AABCA). She helps AABCA by developing programs, sharing information, connecting with other breast cancer organizations, creating cancer awareness materials, supporting survivors, bringing survivors and caregivers together to share their experiences, inspirations and stories to help reduce the negative effects that breast cancer and cancer has on African American/Black women, men, families and communities.

The mission of AABCA is to provide culturally specific information, networking, peer support and hope in the struggle and survivorship of breast cancer and cancer.

Survivorship Spotlight: Meet Steve Kuczenski


Steve K
Steve Kuczenski
Mechanical engineer and 6 year cancer survivor

Happy Father’s Day! To celebrate father's everywhere, we are highlighting Steve Kuczenski. Steve is a mechanical engineer who was diagnosed 6 months after retirement with Stage 4 Non Small Cell Lung Cancer. He has a wife, 4 children, their spouses and 5 grandchildren that have supported him along his cancer journey. He is a 6 year survivor and has kept up life adventures despite the cancer treatments. He has traveled to numerous countries across the continents including Australia, Papua/New Guinea, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Egypt, Morocco, Peru, Ecuador, Galapagos Islands and Greece. Steve is also a volunteer driver for A Breath Of Hope that provides cancer patients transportation to and from their many treatments and consultations. Driving patients allows Steve to pay back for his stable cancer status.


Survivorship Spotlight: Meet Shernan Holtan

Shernan Holtan
Shernan Holtan, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Transplantation at the U of M Medical School


Dr. Holtan is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Transplantation at the U of M Medical School where she serves as a hematologist focusing on long-term survivorship. Her most recent research focuses on strength training and late effects related to transplantation. 






Survivorship Spotlight: Meet Linda Linder

Linda Linder
Linda Linder
Registered Nurse and 19 year ovarian cancer survivor and past president of the Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance


Linda Linder is a Registered Nurse with over forty years of experience in a wide variety of clinical and business settings. She is a 19 year ovarian cancer survivor and past president of the Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance. She has a passion for women to be empowered with knowledge about what they are facing and pursuing the best possible medical care available. She participated in a Masonic Cancer Center Fireside Chat, which you can view here.





Survivorship Spotlight: Meet Karim Sadak

Karim Sadak
Karim Sadak, MD, MPH, MSE
Director of the Childhood Cancer/BMT Survivor Program for the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology in the Department of Pediatrics


Dr. Sadak is currently the Director of the Childhood Cancer/BMT Survivor Program for the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology in the Department of Pediatrics. His clinical and research expertise focuses on survivors of childhood cancer.






Survivorship Spotlight: Meet Rachel Vogel


Rachel Vogel
Rachel Vogel, PhD
Masonic Cancer Center’s Women’s Health Research Scholar

Dr. Vogel is dedicated to research in women’s cancer and is currently the Masonic Cancer Center’s Women’s Health Research Scholar. She is interested in outcomes research and cancer survivorship. Rachel is also closely familiar with cancer and served as a caregiver for her brother Phil when he was diagnosed with cancer. 






Survivorship Spotlight: Meet Noelle Hoven


Noelle Hoven
Noelle Hoven, MD
Breast Cancer Radiology Expert

Happy Mothers Day to all who celebrate and to everyone who has ever mothered—in any and every capacity that mothering occurs. As we honor all who mother, we’d like to take a moment to shine a spotlight on Noelle Hoven, a breast cancer radiology expert. As an assistant professor, Noelle works to “mother” radiology residents, molding them into competent, compassionate, and responsible doctors who serve their patients well. 



Survivorship Spotlight: Meet Ian Maher


Ian Maher
Ian Maher, MD, Dermatologic Oncology Fellowship Program Director

May is Skin Cancer Month! In honor of this awareness month, let us introduce you to Ian Maher. Ian is the Dermatologic Oncology Fellowship Program Director and has shared some of his knowledge and expertise with the Masonic Cancer Center to help facilitate skin cancer screening events for our summer events. And, check out Dr. Maher’s top sun safety tips to incorporate into your routine this summer!

Ian Maher, MD, is a board certified dermatologic surgeon who treats adult patients with basal and squamous cell carcinoma, melanoma and skin cancer. Dr. Maher specializes in performing post-skin cancer reconstruction, skin flaps and grafts, Mohs surgery, and treating rare cutaneous malignancies. He sees patients at University of Minnesota Health Maple Grove Clinics and University of Minnesota Health Clinics and Surgery Center.

His clinical and academic interests focus on the development of new reconstructive techniques, flap mechanics, core outcome set development and registry development. Dr. Maher is also an associate professor in the Department of Dermatology at the University of Minnesota Medical School.

Survivorship Spotlight: Meet Abbie Begnaud


Abbie Begnaud
Abbie Begnaud, MD, pulmonologist and critical care physician

April is Cancer Control Month! In honor of the month, this week we are highlighting Abbie Begnaud. Abbie is a pulmonologist and critical care physician whose clinical work focuses on managing common lung diseases as well as diagnosing and managing lung cancer. Her research focuses on reducing the burden of lung cancer, through early detection (screening), especially for groups who are disproportionately impacted by the disease.

Dr. Begnaud has been fortunate to partner with Indigenous organizations to reduce the burden of lung cancer in this community. Abbie collaborated to launch the University of Minnesota Health Lung Cancer Screening Program and continues to oversee all its activities. 


Survivorship Spotlight: Meet Anne Blaes


Anne Blaes portrait
Anne Blaes, MD, co-leader, SPECS Program at MCC.

Anne Blaes is the Director of Cancer Survivorship Services and Translational Research here at the Masonic Cancer Center. She is an active medical oncologist with a special interest in the late effects of cancer therapy, particularly in the area of cardio-oncology.

Her research focuses on designing and implementing strategies to help prevent the long term complications of treatments in cancer survivors, particularly in the areas of cardiovascular health. We can think of no one better to start our weekly spotlight series! Keep reading for a bit of insight into Dr. Blaes' work.

Why is your work in cancer survivorship so important to you? 

Whether four or forty-four when diagnosed with cancer, the life expectancy of a cancer survivor, even when cured, is not the same as an individual not affected by cancer. Cancer survivors can be affected by cardiac complications, second cancers, metabolic syndrome, and impairments in quality of life. I am an active hematologist/medical oncologist, educator, and funded researcher focused on cancer survivorship, the late effects of cancer therapy including cardio-oncology, secondary cancers, accelerated aging, quality of life, and how interventions can both identify and promote screening for secondary late effects.
With a rapidly growing number of cancer survivors, I think it is essential for individuals to "keep living well." Whether individuals are living with their cancer or are cancer free, I want patients and health care professionals to be aware of other potential aspects of cancer treatment, notably potential medical complications or other toxicities, such as time, logistics, and/or financial strain. With this research and information, we can better connect patients to resources, provide screening protocols to minimize these risks, and implement newer treatment protocols in an effort to minimize these complications in the future.

What is one thing you would want people to know about survivorship or your work in survivorship

I am very passionate about helping individuals live well after a cancer diagnosis. This mission motivates my desire to care for patients, to conduct research in this space, and to educate trainees and other healthcare professionals about this work. That being said, I don't do this work by myself. It takes an incredible team, for which I am very grateful, and it takes our wonderful patients and their families who are willing to share their experiences.

As a part of our first annual Cancer Survivorship Walk, we are highlighting a notable figure in Survivorship each week until the conclusion of our walk. Want to participate in the walk? Register today, and don’t forget to attend our family picnic event on June 2.

Announcing the first annual Survivorship Walk!


For over thirty years, our team of doctors, nurses, researchers, and staff here at the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota (MCC) has been dedicated to reducing the burden of cancer on Minnesotans and beyond. Every day, we work to uncover the causes, prevention, detection, and treatment of cancer, use that knowledge to improve quality of life for people with a cancer diagnosis, and then share what we’ve learned with everyone in our community.

Providing ongoing support and programs that focus on the health and wellbeing of cancer survivors is a critical part of what we do. That’s where our Cancer Survivorship Program—a collaboration between the MCC and M Health Fairview—comes in, helping providing valuable resources and information to help anyone living with cancer, as well as their loved ones and caregivers, navigate the many questions that arise from the point of diagnosis, through treatment, and beyond.

This year, we’re thrilled to announce we are hosting our first annual walk benefitting survivorship programming, hosted by MCC! Below, we tackle questions about survivorship, our programming in this area, and how anyone can participate in this opportunity. Register today to be part of the walk, and keep an eye out for additional information from us as further details become available.

Plus, stay tuned for our weekly posts as part of a new Survivorship Spotlight series, where we’ll be highlighting notable figures in survivorship every week until the end of this year’s walk!

Want to make sure you don’t miss any Survivorship walk announcements? Get signed up for our monthly Survivorship Program e-newsletter, where we round up all of the most pertinent updates on what we’ve been up to and make sure it hits your inbox each month.

What is cancer survivorship? 

In cancer, you are a survivor from the moment you are diagnosed—through treatment, living with cancer, and remission. We recognize that life after a cancer diagnosis is a lifelong change to your health and lifestyle that also affects your loved ones. Our Cancer Survivorship Program exists to help provide valuable resources and information to help you navigate the many questions that arise throughout a diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship.

Check out our blog post on cancer survivorship to read more about it.

What is the Survivorship Walk? 

The Survivorship Walk is a virtual fundraising activity designed to fit into your lifestyle and support the Cancer Survivorship Program. You can set your walking goal and track your progress—it’s entirely up to you how, when, and where you walk. Visit our Survivorship Walk website to learn more and get started!

What is the Survivorship Walk dedicated to? 

The Survivorship Walk brings together communities to walk towards reducing the burden of cancer. Not only are participants able to walk on their schedule, but funds raised will directly support Survivorship Programming such as the Survivorship Conference and THRIVE Series as well as cancer research at the Masonic Cancer Center.

How can people participate in the Survivorship Walk? 

To participate, simply sign up on the website, and use our tools to help set your goal, track your progress, and share it with your networks. Whether or not you choose to walk, we encourage you to join us on Friday, June 2, 2023 at Brookview Park in Golden Valley, Minn., as we recognize Cancer Survivor Awareness Month in a family-friendly picnic gathering. More details on this picnic gathering coming soon!